Thursday, November 08, 2007

Some NaNoWriMo tips

Stuck on your NaNo novel? Here are some tips for reaching 50,000 relatively painlessly.
  1. Do not use contractions. It is perfectly normal for people to speak without them, is it not?
  2. Give your characters four-part names. Think about it: every time Felicity Ann Holton-Smith talks to Garrison James St. Cloud, that's eight words just for the names!
  3. Likewise with place names - set your story in Littleton-on-the-St.-John, and have your characters go out of town a lot, so they can say they're returning and use the name again.
  4. Become well-acquainted with "well..." It's an all-purpose word you can use almost every time a character speaks. "Well, I don't know." "Well, she said she would be here." "Well, this is ridiculous." You can go back later and take them out, but they'll get you to 50,000.
  5. Um, people say "um" in real life, so they definitely should in your novel. Um, I think.
  6. Have your characters sing a lot. Inserting song lyrics will bump your word count nicely. And then you can remove them later to avoid any possible legal entanglements.
  7. Adjectives are your friends. Why just drink coffee when they can drink a hot, bitter cup of joe? It's not just a room, it's a small, cramped room. You get the general idea.
  8. If you really get stuck, you can always have your character go nuts, a la The Shining. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work...

I'm a little over 12,000 words right now. Going for the three-peat! (which, by the way, counts as two words)


  1. I scrambled right over here when you said NaNo tips in my comments. LOL.

    You're some kind of evil genius ;)

    Thanks for the laugh (and seriously, I've been dropping contractions left and right. ROFL.)

    I am so stuck with my plot right now. I think I'm overwhelmed by the possibilities. I was just on the Nano forums asking for help.

    SIGH - I shouldn't be here... I'm going back to Word to stare at a blinking cursor... lol.

  2. I did put the little winking guy in my comment, LOL! Evil genius... I like that.

  3. OH good for you on the 12K words. One of these days I will do this ....

  4. LOVE this post! This is too good! Hmm...I use Well a lot. I also use HMM a lot...maybe I need to come up with some extra words for my characters to overuse. ;-)

    Great post!